Lab Rotations

A. Overview
During the first semester, incoming students rotate in three laboratories for a period of four to five weeks per rotation. Rotations allow students to gain a vast amount of knowledge about research in the Biophysics Program. This knowledge will allow them to better choose a thesis lab for completion of their PhD degree.
B. Lab Rotations Provide:

  • An introduction to biophysics research and techniques
  • Exposure to the actual working environment of a laboratory
  • Hands-on research experience
  • Exposure to the variety of biophysics research being conducted on the UW-Madison campus
  • A chance to meet various students and faculty trainers

C. Selecting Lab Rotations

  • Review each faculty trainer's lab research (see the Faculty Directory on the Biophysics website)
  • Attend biophysics faculty trainer talks during Advising and Orientation Week, where each faculty trainer will discuss research being conducted in their lab
  • Identify faculty trainers of interest for possible fall lab rotations or future Thesis Committee members
  • Note questions to ask each faculty trainer
  • Arrange a time to meet with each faculty trainer of interest to discuss questions and obtain more information about their lab
  • Students are advised to meet with at least six faculty trainers before deciding on three lab rotations
  • Complete the Rotation Schedule form, available on the Biophysics Forms section of the Biophysics website, and return it to the Biophysics Office by the Friday after Labor Day

D. Selecting a Final Thesis Lab

  • Upon completion of three lab rotations, the student will identify their final thesis lab choice
  • Students are encouraged to complete all 3 rotations, but may choose a lab prior to completing all 3 rotations. The student should begin in their Thesis lab as soon as they have made their decision
  • Complete the Choice of Thesis Lab form, available on the Biophysics Forms section of the Biophysics website, and return it to the Biophysics Office in December of their first semester
  • After the thesis lab is chosen, the student will immediately begin working in their new lab

E. Lab Rotation Concerns

  • If the student experiences lab rotation difficulties or is unable to determine an appropriate thesis lab at the end of their third rotation, the student should contact the Biophysics Office immediately